Run This World Podcast

176 – Nancy Hogshead-Makar Champion of Women, Sport & Life


Nancy Hogshead was one of my childhood heroes. She was an Olympic swimming superstar at the age when I was a rising star. She set her first American record at age 14, won 4 Olympic medals and countless titles along the way. She was a full-package powerhouse with brains, beauty and as she says in this interview, “Talent was dripping from my fingers.”

Today Nancy is a civil rights attorney. Her focus mainly lies in two areas: Equal rights for women in sport and stopping the pervasive sexual abuse that continues to happen in sports today. Her story is incredible. Her experiences all lead her so perfectly to this place in life. That doesn’t mean her experiences have all been rosy. Nancy was shunned as a young swimmer which taught her resilience. She had to deal with the frustration and heartbreak of missing the 1980 Olympics due to the USA boycott. And when she was at Duke University, she was brutally raped which led to major PTSD and a long emotional recovery. Despite all of this, she went on to be the most decorated athlete and one of America’s sweethearts at the 1984 Olympics with three golds and a silver medal.

Nancy is fun, open, honest and shares the greatest stories. I was laughing so hard for much of this conversation. As you listen, you will want to support her efforts for equality. The most important thing you can do is add your signature to support greater protections for TEAM USA athletes here.

Today we talk about:

  • Growing up a swimmer
  • The LUCK involved in getting THE Eddie Reese as your first ever coach at age 7! Then Randy Reese when you move!
  • How hard should we push our kids
  • Aspen Institute – resource for parents in regards to youth sports
  • Taking the LONG TERM approach to sport and health (mental and physical)
  • Nancy’s birth story (see pic below!)
  • Rambles about our own parenting philosophies
  • The Flow State: how Nancy discovered flow as a way to handle the pressure
  • Sex assault: Nancy was raped while running at Duke University: PTSD, recovery & what Duke did right
  • Nancy’s path to becoming a champion of women: ChampionWomen.org
  • Nancy’s causes today: Equal rights for women in sport and dismantling the culture of sex abuse in sports

Plus many references including:

Nancy is a force. We could have talked for hours and gone down many more rabbit holes. I asked her after the interview what workout she did beforehand. We had both just come in from some exercise. Her answer is here and one of the reasons I adore her. All right then, that’s it for today. You know what time it is. It’s time to get out there and Run This World. Have a great workout and I’ll see you next week.